On Relationship Advice Books- Best and Worst Buys

Recently it was my hubby’s birthday and I got him a customized silver key chain with his name on it and added “The Great” below.

On one hand it was meant as a joke (we really think megalomaniacs are funny) and on the other I truly think he is a great man and I’d like him to remember that whenever he is down.

I really believe we should let the people around us know from time to time that not only we love them, but also believe in them.

Without a doubt, people are very complicated. Relationships are also very complicated. No wonder there are so many books on relationship advice and being interested in psychology I have read a lot of them:

  • Men are from Mars Women are from Venus (John Gray)
  • Why Men Love Bitches (by Sherry Argov)
  • Act like a Lady, Think Like a Man (Steve Harvey)
  • Why Men Lie and Women Cry (Allan Pease & Barbara Pease)
  • He’s Just Not That Into You (Liz Tuccillo’s and Greg Behrendt)

I will begin with the worst picks.

Definitely and by far the worst book I have read is Why Men Love Bitches. I see what Argov is trying to say in the book. Don’t be a doormat, be self confident, have high self esteem and the guy will fall head over heels. That’s what she is trying to say, but you don’t need a book about that. A good article will do.

There are a lot of issues with this book. We can’t ignore the title.  I really don’t think having high self confidence and high self esteem makes you a bitch, or at least it shouldn’t. While Argov does say that by bitch she means Babe in Total Control of Herself, I believe she could have created an anagram around a better word. The title is just meant as an attention-grabber, a ploy to trick you into buying it.

As for the content, at no point you feel Argov has any background in psychology or that the book was written on any kind of respectful research. She just asks a few male or female friends and states her conclusion afterwards. This book just did not earn my respect. I am not saying it’s worthless, just you won’t get much out of it. There are much better books about self-esteem issues.  I bet this book did made Argov a lot of money, so its purpose has been fulfilled. You don’t actually have to read it.

Allan and Barbara Pease’s books also tend to grab your attention. They have many books on men and women including Why Men Lie and Women Cry. They are entertaining, very well researched, but I don’t think they add much to the table. When I read their books I tend to skip over many things because I already know a lot about the issues discussed. There was no unique insight to make it interesting.  I know it doesn’t make their books bad just because I read a lot and I have heard it all before, but there are better picks.

Act Like a Lady, Think like a Man by Steve Harvey was very amusing. I read it whole on one afternoon. As a book, it served its purpose on entertaining me. A lot of relationship books are written by men, but you don’t see the husband’s or boyfriend’s perspective on the relationship. You mostly see the author playing the part of the psychologist/ the brother/best friend while giving advice. By writing a book from the husband’s perspective, I don’t question Harvey’s expertise as a psychologist or researcher. He is a man who has been married, divorced and remarried that’s his background. About the content, not all was new info for me, but I just loved the book. Steve Harvey is an entertainer I was really entertained. I am not saying you should buy it though, you won’t learn much.

The best book you can buy for the ultimate insight into the world of men, women and relationships is Dr John Gray’s Men Are from Mars Women Are from Venus. In fact if you don’t have it, you must buy a copy right now. It will give you the answers you are looking for. It will help you understand your partner better and will even coach you. It doesn’t tell a woman to be a bitch in order to get what she wants, because it’s wrong and bad for the relationship. It teaches both sexes to act lovingly even in situations that are stressful. Most importantly this is a book for both men and women. No other book in the genre has more value than this one. Trust me I checked.

I purposely left Liz Tuccillo’s and Greg Behrendt’s book He’s Just Not that Into You for last. That’s a good book for a gift to a girl you know caught up with a guy, you all of her friends know that he is not interested in her. Maybe it will knock some sense into her.

That was fun for me. Feels good to put all my excessive reading to good use.


The Entrepreneur and The Myth

When I  was still a university student, I wrote an article in the student newspaper about  how graduating students are searching for employment opportunities in top notch companies around the world and why  entrepreneurship can be an alternative option as well.

At the time, even though I  did not aspire to be an entrepreneur, I believed that all it took to  run a successful business is having  the will, and some experience and talent  because I had the idealistic/optimistic view that one can achieve whatever one puts into one’s head.

Some time passed since then and life is a  sequence of weird events because  here I am trying my luck at being an entrepreneur.

I should say that since the article, a lot of my  idealism was squeezed out of me– as it happens with every human being  as one matures, i suppose– but I still do believe one can achieve what one is determined to do;  the key word  here is “can, “not “will”.

In trying to make a business out of my “dream reading experience” I have been learning new skills and perfecting old ones. I have also been making new connections and reading a lot of articles and books.


One great book I read lately (maybe you’ve heard of it cause it’s been here for some time now) is The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber.

If anyone ever thinks about entrepreneurship, he/she should definitely read this book.

It basically says  if you are really  good at something and  you love doing it, and if you work really, really painfully hard for it to make it into a business, odds are you are still  not going to have a successful business, at least not for a long time (more idealism/optimism squeezed out). But there is hope according to Gerber in creating a system that will work for your business without you being necessarily there;  in managing to be all three at first the entrepreneur, manager, and technician in equal parts; and  in not making your business your entire life.

I am experimenting till I find THE system that works best for me, and  this is daunting. I ‘d much rather just be drawing and writing all day and making books fun to read. Managing the work flow, judging it, making plans ahead, studying the market and etc. is  certainly not the fun part, but still an essential part of the process.

It’s a good book.  Oddly enough, I started going faithfully to the gym because of it, but that’s a another story for another time.